I am looking forward to helping students reach their full potential and perhaps learn a little something myself along the way. I believe students can learn a lot from good teachers, but I think GREAT teachers learn from their students as well. One thing I have learned in my nearly 30 years of working with children is that learning happens whether we want it to or not. Every day provides us with an abundance of learning opportunities and the more we take advantage of those opportunities the... [more]
I work on improving my vocabulary daily. I enjoy writing, so learning new words is important to me. One thing that has helped me is being a facilitator to my son's Latin class. At the time I was homeschooling him, going to college myself and I was a foster parent to 6 boys, so I didn't do as much work as he did, but just that little bit of exposure has helped me a great deal. He has attributed scoring VERY high on the ASVAB (98/99) and doing outstanding on college entrance tests to his 2 years of studying Latin.
I did some editing in high school and college. I've also homeschooled and tutored several students in writing/grammar over the past 25 years ranging from elementary to college level writing. I enjoy writing a great deal and I have begun working on writing a novel with my son.
Comprehension is something that quite a few students struggle with, especially those with attention issues. I have found that looking at a long paragraph or a page of printed writing can feel daunting or overwhelming for some and learning how to make tasks more manageable is one thing I work on with students. Students are much more willing to take small risks when they feel like the goal is achievable.
I have written countless papers myself, but I have also helped students improve their writing skills in as little as one session. I know it may seem like a daunting task, but with a few pointers everyone can be a better writer!
I've tutored several students in writing over the past 10 years. Among the students I've worked with is a Baylor Med school student who was recently published in a medical periodical. I am also currently working with my son on a novel.
Government & Politics
Earning a degree in Criminal Justice, I spent a lot of my time studying psychology and sociology, but I would say that being a foster parent taught me quite a bit as well. Psychology is the study of the human mind and how it works, especially how its functioning relates to behavior in a given context. Many of the foster children I cared for had psychological issues stemming from the abuse or neglect they suffered. It was very helpful to understand the root of those behavioral problems in an effort to help find solutions, whether they were medication or behavior modification plans.
Math has never really been my strength, but I do enjoy tutoring elementary students because I know what it's like to struggle in this area. Having a college degree, I've taken my share of courses ranging from algebra to calculus. I think my strength though, is finding a way to help younger students understand new concepts.
I enjoy this age group so much because it's all new to them! I love seeing that "ah-ha!" moment when a student finally "gets it"... there's nothing better! I have Homeschooled my son from 4th grade to graduation. I've also Homeschooled a total of 5 other students one of whom is currently an English major with law school plans for the future!
The goal of phonics is to learn the most common sound-spelling relationships so that they can decode, or sound out, words. It is a method of decoding so to speak. This ability to sound out or recognize certain sounds that make up words helps a child gain fluency in their reading. It also improves spelling. I have taught several students in the pre-k to 2nd grade age range where phonics is generally introduced. I have also found it very useful to review phonics with older students having reading difficulties. Some older students may protest doing "baby stuff" but it really does help them become more proficient readers.
I would say the most significant qualification I have to help others improve study skills would be my experience as a homeschooling mother of a child with ADHD. It was a challenge to find a method that worked for my son. He struggled with retention, but also had a great deal of trouble with attention span. Finding ways to help him really opened my eyes to all the different methods of learning and made me realize that a typical classroom setting is quite limited in its approaches to teaching. Also, having been a student for 17 years myself, I have learned quite a bit about time management and effective learning.
I was a foster parent for 7 years, and as such, have completed numerous training sessions on recognizing and addressing ADHD issues in various settings. My adopted son is 23 and we've dealt with ADHD issues through homeschooling. I've worked with children who are medicated as well as those who are not. Each child is different and may require teaching adjustments to reach his or her full potential.
As a Criminal Justice major, I did quite a bit of research in the sociology (and psychology) fields. My focus in this was mainly how social relationships relate to behavior in crime, Societal causation of criminal behavior, and also the positive/negative effects different social ties can have on both individual and group behaviors. In an organized crime class that I took, I did research papers on gang associations and one on terror groups. I looked at what draws people to these groups and what changes take place during that process. It's quite fascinating and I would love to share that interest with someone.
I have a degree in criminal justice. I absolutely love the study of psychology as it relates to crime. I've studied everything from juvenile crime to international terrorism. I was a nanny most of my adult life and one of the children in my charge also graduated with a degree in criminal justice. I helped her throughout college. My son is now in college and majoring in criminal justice with a minor in psychology. I'm tutoring him as well.
Social Studies or the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence" (as defined by the U.S. American National Council for the Social Studies) is a broad subject that can cover anything from civics to world cultures. I have taught social studies in a homeschool setting that has covered local and state communities, religious cultures, as a part of US History, and more.
Handwriting is generally not taught in schools anymore. I have homeschooled several students and handwriting has been a part of my curriculum for years. I think it is important and also a good exercise for fine motor development.